Who is Jinny Wright? You need to know.

A woman walks into a commercial gallery that she passes on her lunch break. There’s an artwork by an new artist called Rothko that she really likes.

The price tag, $1360, is beyond her reach but she really wants it. So she talks to the gallery owner about paying it off in instalments. But there’s another hurdle. The artist wants to approve whoever buys his work.

Jinny Wright gets the work by Mark Rothko. And she goes on to amass one of the most incredible collections of modern and contemporary art in the United States.

Artwork by Helen Frankenthaler with bright purple yellow and blue splotches
Helen Frankenthaler, Painting with Frame, oil on canvas, 1964

How to get your hands on big name artists without spending big money.

As an artist, I like to create art. I also covet art. So when I see something I really love I do what I can to get it. But I am not trying to buy works by Kehinde Wiley or Kyle Dunn or Prudence Flint. I’m trying to do what Jinny did.

She bought works she loved. She bought works she could afford. And she bought works as the artists were having their first shows or early shows in their careers.

Too often people are collecting art for its future value. When we should be buying art now because we love it, because it challenges us, because we’ve never seen anything like it before.

Abstract by Willem do Kooning of contorted store mannequins
Willem de Kooning, Warehouse Mannequins, oil and enamel on buff paper, mounted on cardboard, 1949.

City of Tomorrow: Jinny Wright and the art that shaped a new Seattle.

Throughout her life Jinny collected art. She continued to seek out and buy works by contemporary artists. In time, her eye for art became an extraordinary collection of works which now form part of an exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.

Walking the exhibition is one OMFG moment after another. All this work was collected over years and years by Jinny and her husband. It’s almost incomprehensible that all this work could have been in a private collection. It’s a reminder to us all, as the art world is in a COVID-19 induced depression, to simply buy more art.

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